Doctors' Failure to Follow Up on Test Results Can Be Deadly
No News Isn’t Always Good News
A recent study found that up to 54 percent of medical errors reported by physicians were related to the management of diagnostic test results. A 2008 study concluded that errors in notifying patients about test results were highly predictive of increased adverse events.
Unacceptably high rates of diagnostic errors persist in part because the issue does not receive nearly as much attention as mistakes such as operating on the wrong side of the patient’s body, amputating the wrong limb, and other surgical errors.
To correct this, doctors must take advantage of existing best practices guidelines. These procedures were created to ensure that test results are promptly and adequately relayed to patients and that proper follow-up treatment is performed. Increased awareness and implementation of these systems would go a long way toward improving the quality and safety of healthcare in this country.
If your doctor failed to notify you of lab results, we invite you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also download or request attorney Chris Mellino‘s free, easy-to-read guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.